I have an abundance of books as you can see (though when don't I have an abundance?). These are my newest acquisitions.
I'm continuing to add to my diary pile with Mary Chestnut's Diary as my latest purchase. I mentioned her recently and it sounded too interesting to pass up. I read that the 1982 publication of her diary won the Pulitzer, so I'm not sure if this is the same edition or not, but I'm guessing the content should more or less be the same. I'm still slowly making my way through Revelations, but I hope to finish soon and pick up another proper full length diary.
Caroline wrote about Underground Time by Delphine de Vigan last spring, and it finally has been published over here. It's a novel set in contemporary Paris about the isolation people feel living anonymously in a big city.
Diana Abu-Jabar's The Language of Baclava is a memoir that weaves together stories of her childhood with reminiscences of the meals her "food-obsessed Jordanian father" prepared. I've discovered that I really like food memoirs and am looking forward to this one.
I had checked out Sandy Tolan's The Lemon Tree from the library and then decided I preferred to own it. It's a nonfiction book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Being such a slow reader of nonfiction I thought it best to have my own copy on hand. "Sandy Tolan brings the Israeli-Palestinian conflict down to its most human level, suggesting that even amid the bleakest political realities there exist stories of hope and reconciliation."
I've talked lots about Alexandra Johnson of late, and now I have her The Hidden Writer: Diaries and the Creative Life on hand and ready to read.
And Expats by Chris Pavone came compliments of Crown Publishers. I couldn't pass up a spy thriller, so this one already sits on my night stand.
These are used books, though new to me. Thanks to John for the heads up on Half the Earth: Women's Experiences of Travel Worldwide by Miranda Davies. I was wondering how I missed one of the "Women Travel" editions by Rough Guides. This does indeed appear to be the missing link.
I couldn't pass up the lone Virago I spotted in my favorite used bookstore, Maya Angelou's Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas, which is the third volume in her memoirs. I've never read Angelou and I feel like I should have.
And a total impulse buy during the same used book shopping excursion--I found A Strange Death: Espionage, Betrayal and Vengeance in Old Palestine by Hillel Halkin. "A tantalizing murder mystery, a dazzling meditation on fact and fiction, memory and invention, this journey into the past is also, for Halkin, a journey to discover once and for all the story of his home."
And then we have the obligatory library pile, which is surprisingly small for me.
I'm tempted to start Berlin Stories by Robert Walser right now, but I should really finish the collection I am midway through first. "Berlin Stories collects his alternately celebratory, droll, and satirical observations on every aspect of the bustling German capital, from its theaters, cabarets, painters' galleries, and literary salons, to the metropolitan street, markets, the Tiergarten, rapid-service restaurants, and the electric tram."
About Time by Penelope Mortimer is the first volume of her memoirs. I had this book out from the library last year but didn't get to it, but hopefully will this time around. Persphone Books and NYRB publish her works these days.
Oolookitty recommended Sarsen Place by Gwendoline Butler to me. Another book that I've just started and sits on my night table. She described it as: "Sarsen Place is a great read: it's set in Victorian London and boasts kidnappings, charismatic pickpockets, dreamy artists and an aristocratic child hiding a dark secret from her feminist governess. I recommend it like crazy." I was sold as you can see.
And Brooklyn Heights by Miral al-Tahawy was shortlisted for the Arabic Booker Prize in 2011. She seems like an important Egyptian writer, so I'm looking forward to trying her work.
New books. Life is good.